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Canada officially approves recreational use of cannabis

Canada officially approves recreational use of cannabis

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Canada’s Senate gave final passage Tuesday to the federal government’s bill to legalize cannabis, though Canadians will have to wait a couple of months to legally buy marijuana as their country becomes the second in the world to make pot legal.

Uruguay was the first country to legalize marijuana’s production, sale and consumption in December 2013.

Although the Canadian government had initially stated its intent to implement by July 2018, provinces and territories, who will be responsible for drafting their own rules for marijuana sales, have advised that they would need eight to 12 weeks after the Senate approval to transition to the new framework. The government is expected to choose a date in early or mid September.

On Twitter, Trudeau praised the bill and focused on Canada’s youth. “It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate,” he tweeted.

Once the bill is formally approved, adults will be able to carry and share up to 30 grams of legal marijuana in public. They also will be allowed to cultivate up to four plants in their households and prepare products such as edibles for personal use. However, stringent rules will still govern the purchase and use of marijuana.

Consumers are expected to purchase marijuana from retailers regulated by provinces, territories or — when neither of those options are available — federally licensed producers. Marijuana will also not be sold in the same location as alcohol or tobacco.
The Canadian government has also implemented changes to their impaired driving laws, to address repercussions for driving under the influence of cannabis.
The bill set a floor on the minimum age of the consumer at 18 years, and makes the production, distribution, or sale of cannabis products an offense for minors.
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